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Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken Stew


Spicy Chicken Stew

Spicy Chicken Stew

Fiona Haynes
This spicy chicken stew takes only minutes to prepare and hours of slow cooking while you go about your day. Come home to an aromatic and delicious meal that needs little more than a side of rice or warm tortillas and perhaps a dollop of reduced-fat sour cream. Or simply enjoy it without accompaniment. It's certainly hearty and filling by itself. Chicken thighs may be higher in fat than chicken breasts, but they stand up to slow cooking very well, whereas skinless, boneless chicken breasts have a tendency to become dry. Chicken thighs are rich, too, so you will likely end up eating less meat overall. Plus, the addition of protein- and fiber-rich beans will fill you up nicely.

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours


  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 carrots, thickly sliced
  • 2 cups frozen sweet corn
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 1 16-ounce jar salsa (medium or spicy, to your taste)
  • 1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder


Place vegetables and beans in the base of a 4-quart slow cooker. Put chicken thighs on top in one layer. Add salsa, chicken broth and spices. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Shred chicken before serving. Serve with whole grain rice, or warmed flour or corn tortillas and reduced-fat sour cream.

Serves 6

Per Serving: Calories 301, Calories from Fat 49, Total Fat 5.5g (sat 1.2g), Cholesterol 94mg, Sodium 596mg, Carbohydrate 32.5g, Fiber 6.8g, Protein 30.4g

Tips and Suggestions

  • Keep clean up to a minimum and use slow cooker liners
  • Make the stew milder or spicier by choosing a different variety of salsa. Add hot sauce for even more heat
  • Use garbanzo beans for a change instead of black beans or kidney beans
  • Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts if you prefer, but cook them whole and reduce cooking time to 5-6 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high to avoid them drying out. You could even cook chicken breasts from frozen, so long as you bear in mind some caveats, which our Guide to Busy Cooks outlines here.
  • No slow cooker? No problem: make the stew using a Dutch oven. Heat 2 tsp of canola oil on medium heat. Saute onions, garlic, celery and carrots (slice carrots thinner than you would for the slow cooker) for 8 minutes, or until softened. Add chili powder and cumin, stir and cook for 1 minute. Brown chicken thighs, then add sweet corn, beans, salsa and broth. Cover and cook on low for 20-25 minutes.

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